Major League Baseball is dodging another curveball this week after an umpire tweeted about buying an assault rifle over the impeachment inquiry.
“I want to personally apologize to everyone that my words made feel less safe,” Umpire Robert Drake said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “I also acknowledge and apologize for the controversy this has brought to Major League Baseball, my fellow umpires, and my family. I never intended to diminish the threat of violence from assault weapons, or violence of any kind.”
“I’m going to learn from this,” he said.
Umpire Rob Drake tweeted late Tuesday that he planned to buy an AR-15 rifle “because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020,” according to a copy of the tweet obtained by ESPN.
Drake has since deactivated his Twitter account.
Major League Baseball officials learned about Drake’s comments on Wednesday, according to a statement. The league said it contacted the Major League Baseball Umpires Association (MLBUA) and had “begun to look into it.”
The MLBUA said Drake’s views did not represent those of other major league umpires.
“Rob is a passionate individual and an outstanding umpire. He chose the wrong way to convey his opinion about our great country,” the association’s statement read.
“We are a group of individuals with diverse opinions and beliefs, united in our desire to continue our excellence officiating MLB games.”
Drake joined Major League Baseball staff in 2010 and worked notable postseason games from 2012 to 2015, according to the MLBUA.
He is not working the 2019 World Series.
CNN has attempted to reach Drake for comment but has not heard back.
Another baseball misstep
Drake’s tweet marks the second time this week controversial comments have overshadowed the postseason.
Earlier this week, Houston Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman was accused of verbally accosting three women reporters, emphatically praising relief pitcher Roberto Osuna.
The Astros acquired Osuna in a trade in 2018, weeks after the league suspended him for 75 games for allegedly assaulting the mother of his child, Sports Illustrated reported.
After the team initially called the article “misleading” in a statement to CNN, Taubman later apologized for his “unprofessional” remarks. MLB says it’s interviewing the people involved in the incident.
CNN’s Jill Martin, Homero De la Fuente and Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.